After spending 27 years with the WWE the Undertaker has retired at Wrestlemania 33.
After over a quarter of a century, the greatest gimmick in professional wrestling was put to ‘rest’. And the WWE couldn’t have worked it better. William Mark Callaway took off his gloves, trench coat and hat, and left behind our beloved ‘Undertaker’ in the ring before bowing out. He turned his head to look back at the 75,000-strong Orlando crowd, before raising his fist for one last time. At that moment, suddenly, The Deadman appeared very much human.
25 years is a long time. Kids have turned into adults and adults have entered the grey zone of life. When the Undertaker first walked into a WWE arena during the 1990 Survivor Series, the men he has lost to at WrestleMania, Reigns and Lesnar, were five and 13 years old, respectively; Margaret Thatcher had stepped down as the Prime Minister of Britain, Home Alone had swept the Box Office, MTV had said a big ‘No’ to Madonna’s newest video “Justify My Love”, for being too hot for TV, Liverpool were defending their Premier League title – they are yet to win it since – and a pound of hamburger meat used to cost just under a dollar. Time has indeed flown by.
Undertaker broke kayfabe for the first time after the match when he kissed wife Mitchell McCool in the front row, but soon got back to his impeccable craft of story-telling on his way back to the ramp. The Undertaker signed off, descending down through a platform at the ramp, almost signifying him returning to “Hell”, the place his character had first emerged from all those years ago. Genuine, manly tears were being shed in the crowd, and those who didn’t, were probably bigger men than many. It was a pleasure having you, Taker. For us, you will never “Rest… In… Peace”.